Admit it, you’ve dug into those pineapple tarts already, haven’t you? You’re not alone; we have too. There’s no better way to get into the Lunar New Year mood than with food! Our second favourite way to start the festive celebrations? By visiting all the places that have CNY decorations, events, and activities for everyone in the family to enjoy. We’ll be adding to this list as more events for CNY 2020 are announced, so do come back to see where you can get ultimate ‘huat’some-ness this coming Year the Metal Rat!


Enter Huat Huat Land at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

Image: Courtesy of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

Confession time: we’ve never been to the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. This year though, we’re making it a CNY 2020 must-visit, as it transforms into a land of prosperity, with giant pineapples up to three metres tall, bags of gold, and oversized mahjong tiles — perfect for those festive photos. Don’t miss award-winning illustrator Lee Xin Li’s rendition of CNY celebrations in the heartlands, which is also Asia’s first interactive Augmented Reality (AR) red packet!

Image: Courtesy of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

When 1 Jan to 8 Feb, 9am – 11pm
Where Roof Garden, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre
Cost Free
Web www.singaporeccc.org.sg/

Dance into the Lunar New Year at VivoCity

If you like do all your CNY shopping in air-conditioned comfort (same here!), this is the place to be. The TANGS Lunar New Year Fair (onging now till 23 January, Central Court, Level 1) has over 50 stalls with CNY food and decor items to browse and buy. Pre- or post-shopping, remember to get a picture with the 7-metre tall “春” at the Outdoor Plaza, or enjoy the lion dance, wushu, and drum performances!

When 3 to 24 January, various timings
Where VivoCity
Web www.vivocity.com.sg

(See also: Where to Buy Traditional and Modern Qipao and Cheongsam for CNY 2020)

See Prosperity in Bloom at Frasers Property malls

There’s lots to win at the malls of Frasers Property this CNY. Spend $30 to “Shake the Prosperity Tree”, meet Mediacorp mascots Yu Shu Shu and Le Shu Shu (selected days at selected malls), and take part in the “Mediacorp Prosperity Treasure Quest” using QR-codes to find the golden ingots (selected malls). You can also get goldfish red packets and this gorgeous Yusheng plate (spend $88 / $128 / $228 at selected malls)!

Finally, do some good when you spend $108 (and donate a minimum of $2) at Bedok Point and YewTee Point. You’ll receive a prosperity bucket filled with goodies and retailer vouchers, and the malls will donate $10 in support of Dover Park Hospice. 

When 3 to 24 Jan, various times
Where Anchorpoint, Bedok Point, Causeway Point, Changi City Point, Northpoint City, The Centrepoint, Waterway Point, and YewTee Point (selected activities at selected malls. See website for details)
Web www.frasersexperience.com

Usher in the New Year with Doraemon and Friends

Get your hands on a limited-edition Doraemon-designed EZ-Charm ($16.90 each), redeem Doraemon red packets and collectibles, and meet and greet the cat type robot and his friends. At AMK Hub, you’ll also be able to get your family name penned by a calligraphy artist, and sit for a caricature drawing. Do all your CNY 2020 shopping at Jurong Point’s Spring Fair, meet the God of Fortune, and be entertained by lively lion dances as well (30 January, 3pm at Jurong Point or 31 January, 11am at AMK Hub). It’s a Lunar New Year to remember at these heartland malls!

When 3 Jan to 8 Feb, various times
Where AMK Hub and Jurong Point
Web www.mercatus.com.sg/amkhub/ (AMK Hub) and http://www.mercatus.com.sg/jurongpoint/ (Jurong Point)

Join in the Joyful Festivities at Chinatown

The heart of the Lunar New Year, this is where to be fully and completely immersed in everything to do with the season! Stroll along the streets and admire the light-up featuring handmade sculptured lanterns of the Rat and other Chinese Zodiac Animals and more (from 7pm onwards). Nothing to do after your reunion dinner? Come and mingle with the crowds for the CNY countdown (24 Jan, 9.30pm – 12.30am).

Check out the street bazaars for traditional CNY delicacies and decorations (from 6pm), be entertained by stage shows (8 – 10.30pm), make a wish at the Chinatown Wishing Tree, and more. Don’t forget to check out the Shopee booth for interactive games and activities where you can win prizes and voucher codes for on-line shopping.

This is also THE place to watch the best lion dance performances as troupes from Singapore and Asia Pacific vie to be the ‘King of the Lions’. Tickets for shows (11 and 12 January) are available at Kreta Ayer Community Club, or online.

When 4 Jan to 22 Feb, various timings
Where Chinatown
Web https://chinatownfestivals.sg

Have a LEGO® Year of the Rat at Jem

The kids and I look forward to LEGO’s Chinese New Year Festival Special edition sets every year, and take time out from pineapple tart feasting to build at least one each CNY holiday. This year’s sets do not disappoint! There’s the LEGO® Lion Dance (RRP$119.90) and LEGO® Chinese New Year Temple Fair (RRP $179.90) sets, both of which are available at LEGO® Certified Stores and participating outlets across Singapore.

If that’s not enough for you, head down to Jem for the first-ever large-scale LEGO® CNY event. Here, brinks-lovers can build Singapore’s biggest LEGO® CNY Giant Rat to celebrate the Year of the Rat, view life-sized CNY-themed structures and a diorama, win prizes, meet LEGO® mascots and more.

When 3 Jan to 9 Feb, 10.30am-9.30pm (retail), 11am to 9pm (activities)
Where Jem
Web https://www.facebook.com/LEGOSingapore/

See the “Mecha” Lunar Guardians at the Wan Qing Festival of Spring

Image: Courtesy of SYSNMH

Lion and dragon dance performances, Chinese painting and drumming workshops, heritage tours and trails, and craft activities for the little ones. There’s something for young and young-at-heart to explore! Join in the Hall’s signature mass Lohei (1 Feb, 6-6.30pm) with over 200 people from all walks of life, join in a Children’s Lion Dance workshop (1 Feb, 4.30-5.30pm), learn what the Year of the Rat has in store for your zodiac sign, and cap it all off with a fabulous concert on the grounds.

There are wonderfully Instagrammable installations here every year and this year’s is no different. Eating tribute to the art of the lion dance, the outdoor installation “Lunar Guardians” (4 Jan to 9 Feb) features two lion dance-inspired sculptures in contemporary “mecha” anime style! Produced by Hong Kong collectible label, BigBoysToys, in collaboration with the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, this artistic juxtaposition of traditional and modern is sure to delight the kids!

When 4 Jan to 9 Feb, 10am – 9pm
Where Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Cost Free
Web www.sysnmh.org.sg

(See also: How to have a Zero Waste, Eco-Friendly, and more Sustainable CNY 2020)

Celebrate the Beauty of Spring at One Raffles Place

There’s something to thrill every shopper at One Raffles Place as it ushers in the Year of the Rat. Find your zodiac’s forecast for the new lunar year, catch a lion dance performance, watch a Chinese Paper Cutting Demonstration, and take part in a Pressed Plants Workshop. Should you be lucky enough to bump into him as he roves around the mall, let Singapore’s God of Fortune Master Bro Alec Chia pass you some prosperity for the Year of the Metal Rat!

When 7 to 24 Jan, various timings
Where One Raffles Place shopping mall
Web www.onerafflesplace.com.sg

Reap Good Fortune at City Square Mall

‘Huat’ fun the kids will have here, at the Joyous Springfest Carnival (10 Jan to 9 Feb, 5-9pm (Mon-Fri), 1-10pm (Sat & Sun), with exciting games and rides by Uncle Ringo! In between, catch a lion dance performance (31 Jan, 4.30pm), pick up exclusive red packets and CNY carrier with minimum spending at the mall, and stand to win tickets to the Geronimo Stilton live show!

When 10 Jan to 9 Feb, various timings
Where City Square Mall
Web www.citysquaremall.com.sg

See the Spectacular Dragons at Resorts World Sentosa

Image: Resorts World Sentosa

Have you ever met a dragon underwater? If not, the S.E.A. Aquarium’s iconic Underwater Dragon Dance at the Aquarium’s Open Water Habitat is a must-see for CNY 2020. During this festive season you’ll also get to meet eight iconic marine animals that are commonly associated with wealth and prosperity. Can you guess what they are? All guests to the aquarium will receive a pair of limited edition S.E.A. Aquarium- themed New Year couplets as a festive keepsake (while stocks last).

Image: Resorts World Sentosa

Over at Universal Studios Singapore, follow the Auspicious Dragon and meet your favourite characters — all dressed up in their CNY finery. If the kids are fans of Illumination’s Minions, they’ll be thrilled to join their yellow friends and Bob (in his all-new specially designed rat costume) as well! Spend a minimum of $35 in a single receipt at retail outlets to receive a pair of limited-edition Sesame Street Chinese New Year-themed couplets. Those who purchase their admission tickets online will receive Minion-themed couplets.

When 11 Jan to 9 Feb
Where Universal Studios Singapore and S.E.A. Aquarium
Cost Usual admission charges apply. Purchase admission tickets to both Universal Studios Singapore and S.E.A. Aquarium in a single transaction, and receive a free admission ticket to Adventure Cove Waterpark (valid until 30 June 2020).
Web Universal Studios Singapore & S.E.A. Aquarium


Catch Dahlia Dreams – The Heavenly Race (大丽花之梦 – 十二生肖争霸赛) at GBTB

Pose for a picture with the Fu medallion at the entrance of Flower Dome, then unleash your inner Yanxi Palace dreams as you stroll into a Chinese landscape painting, complete with peach blossoms, a pavilion, and dioramas of cranes and mountains. You’ll also get to see over 70 Dahlia flower types, as well as festive plants. Point out the zodiac animals to the kids and tell them the story of how to rat outwitted the rest to reach the Jade Emperor first! P/S: Join an “ASK Me!” tour to learn fascinating facts about the displays. Tours are on daily at 11am and 3pm (2pm – 5pm on 1, 2, 15 & 16 Feb).

Dahlia Dreams 2018. Image: Gardens by the Bay

When 17 Jan – 23 Feb, 9am – 9pm
Where Flower Dome. Gardens by the Bay
Cost Admission charge to Flower Dome applies
Web www.gardensbythebay.com.sg

Watch LEGOLAND® Malaysia’s First-ever Lunar New Year show

Taking place on 25 and 26 January only, LEGOLAND® Malaysia’s first Lunar New Year show features Sze Chuan face-changing (变脸) opera, Chinese folk dancers recitals, acrobatic lion dance on high poles, and more. Can’t make it on these dates? There’ll still be lots of festive fun to make your CNY 2020 a blast. Enter the Rat Race as a family and work as a team to make your own LEGO® Zodiac Rat, help to build the Giant LEGO® Orange, catch the Ninjas doing breakdance, and look out for the mischievous Monkey King as he roams the park! Thinking of making it a holiday for the fam? Book before 31 Jan 2020 through the official LEGOLAND®  Malaysia website to enjoy 30 per cent off at LEGOLAND® Hotel in January and February this year!

When 18 Jan to 9 Feb
Where LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort
Cost Buy your tickets between 10 Jan and 15 Feb 2020 and get 50 per cent off the second ticket purchase
Web www.legoland.com.my

Visit River Hongbao (RHB) 2020

Make it a day out for the fam ‘cos there’s lots to do here. Explore interactive exhibits, and take photos with intricate handmade lanterns. See over 400 red packets, including collectors’ editions, at a specially-curated ‘hongbao’ exhibition. Kids will probably love playing RHB’s first virtual game #HuntYourZodiac where they can use mobile screens to “catch” the 12 zodiac animals. Stay on for the fireworks, carnival games, and yummy street food. Chingay performers will be stopping by on 31 January and 1 February, hence you’ll get to see them as well! Daily fireworks timings:

  • 23 Jan: 9pm 
  • 24 Jan: 12am 
  • 25-28 Jan: 9pm 
  • 29 & 30 Jan: 10pm 
  • 31 Jan & 1 Feb: 9.30pm

When 23 Jan to 1 Feb, 2 – 11pm
Where The Float @ Marina Bay
Web http://riverhongbao.sg

Go on a Rat Race at Saturdays@ACM

Image: Asian Civilisations Museum

Start the Year of the Rat with blessings at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) from the lion dance performance, then create your own blessing scroll to bring home. Watch an interactive drama performance about the rat’s progress in the zodiac animals race too! What’s more, you’ll be able to collect limited-edition Museum Roundtable Lunar New Year red packets at the museum (and at all 37 NHB museums and galleries, terms and conditions apply, while stocks last).

When 25 Jan – 23 Feb, 1-5pm
Where Asian Civilisations Museum
Cost Free
Web www.acm.org.sg

Say “Gong Xi Fa Cai” to the President at the Istana Open House

Lunar New Year Open House at the Istana

Take a break from all the CNY red and get some green therapy at the Istana. The gardens are lush ago and lovely, and you can go on a Nature Guided Walk to learn more about the flora and fauna here. There are also tours of the Istana Main Building, where you can view selected function rooms and see a display of gifts that were presented to Singapore’s Presidents and Prime Ministers. While roaming the grounds, try not to miss the performances and activities; they’re fun for every age group!

When 26 Jan, 8.30am – 6pm
Where Istana
Cost Free for Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents. $2 per person (all other visitors). There may be additional fees for guided tours.
Web www.istana.gov.sg/

Visit the National Museum of Singapore

Image: National Museum of Singapore

Watch lions dance in the museum (1.30pm), craft a Lunar New Year icon keychain (11am – 5pm), go on a Red Artefact Hunt (11am – 5pm), groove to your favourite CNY tunes at the live performance (3 – 3.30pm). In addition, you can also share the customs and traditions that your family and friends practice during CNY, and see how similar or different your celebrations are compared to other visitors (11am – 5pm).

P/S: Remember to collect your limited-edition CNY 2020 Museum Roundtable Lunar New Year red packets at the museum (and at all 37 NHB museums and galleries, terms and conditions apply, while stocks last)!

When 27 Jan, 11am – 5pm
Where National Museum of Singapore
Cost Free admission
Web www.nationalmuseum.sg

Enjoy Culture at the Huayi Chinese Festival of the Arts

It was here that the kids discovered Chinese crosstalk and fell in love with it. So if you are thinking about immersing your child in some Chinese culture and conversation to help ignite their love for the language, this is a good place to start. There are more than 100 free programmes — a good proportion of them for families and kids — Chinese dance, puppetry, talks, craft workshops, music — to entertain everyone in the family. On our radar: Gullinkambi by Bon Appetit Theatre, about a little girl named Sonna who embarks on a solo quest to find her best friend, the polar bear Gullinkambi.

When 31 Jan to 9 Feb
Where Esplanade — Theatres on the Bay
Web www.esplanade.com

Watch Chingay 2020: Colours in Harmony

Ever wondered what firecrackers look and sound like? Find out at this year’s Chingay Parade as a 200m long stretch of firecrackers go off to open the spectacular show. You’ll also see the world’s Biggest and Longest Flying Dragon, a friendly face-off between Stilt Walkers and Sky Runners, and multi-ethnic cultural performances by local and international talents. Topping it all off are stunning lights, lasers, pyrotechnic and fireworks. It’s an unforgettable spectacle to celebrate your CNY 2020 with!

Image: People’s Association

When Friday, 31 January 2020 & Saturday, 1 February 2020. Carnival: 5–11pm (31 Jan), 5–1am (1 Feb) Admission time – 6pm. Parade: 8-9.30pm
Where F1 Pit Building
Cost From $28.50 at www.apactix.com, SingPost outlets, Singapore Indoor Stadium Box Office, The Star Performing Arts Centre Box Office, and Scotts Square
Web www.chingay.org.sg

(See also: Long Weekends and Public Holidays 2020: What to do and Where to go with the Family!)

Listen out at Ding Yi’s Happy Chinese New Year Concert 2020 欢乐春节 – 新春音乐会 2020

Have you ever heard Chinese chamber music? If not, this is a good time to start. Ding Yi’s first showcase of the year stars singer-songwriter Nathan Hartono and is conducted by Ding Yi Assistant Conductor Wong De Li, Dedric. Sit back and listen out for new renditions of familiar Chinese classics and popular favourites. Bring the kids and the grandparents too!

When 8 Feb, 3.30pm & 7.30pm
Where China Cultural Centre Theatre
Cost $28 (free seating)
Web www.sistic.com.sg/events/happy0220

Welcome the Year of the Metal Rat with CNY 2020 Celebrations!

Image: Courtesy of SYSNMH

It’s time to start gearing up for CNY 2020. With so many events and activities, and so much food to look forward to, the first Lunar New Year of the decade will no doubt be filled with fun for everyone in the family. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Header and featured images: Courtesy of SYSNMH

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